* Posts by Ken Moorhouse

1475 posts • joined 26 Jul 2007

Phew, galactic accident helps boffins explain dark matter riddle

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Keck Telescope

Do they zip it up when they aren't using it?

Careful with this latest Microsoft release – tug too hard on the threads and it tends to unravel

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I wonder if Hardware Manufacturers will follow suit...

...All those jumpers on the mainboard that do something.

When they produce jumperless mainboards then they will start flashing instead.

The fastest, most secure browser? Microsoft Edge apparently

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I have a clock that tells the time correctly...

...twice a day. Must get a battery for it.

Where hackers haven't directly influenced polls, they've undermined our faith in democracy

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"so one of their first acts would have be extending or rescinding Article 50."

[Theresa May: 12 Dec 18]

Run that past us again. Hmm, rescinding Article 50? Why has this suddenly materialised as a valid option?

Bethesda blunders, IRS sounds the alarm, China ransomware, and more

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Re: ...a slow news day...

Presumably you're not an exasperated UK citizen wondering how our f'ing* politicians (well, one in particular) can be so incompetent.

*It is not often I resort to Rude Words on t'interwebs, but today is an exception.

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Re: The problem of creating unique keys...

...is not the issue.

The issue is collating all transactions relating to someone together for some purposes, and not for others, without losing the connection between them.

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Re: One of those is off-line backup

It can be difficult to reconcile data from an off-line backup with live data. For example, do you continue to constrain primary and foreign keys across that partition?

If so, then the keys concerned may need to be mapped in some way to preserve anonymity within the current dataset. Is that sufficient to prevent "casual" GDPR disclosure spilling over into a deeper search due to the presence of a reference to "other data" (which is obligatory)?

If not then there is a discontinuity in the audit trail which can lead to either a failure to find connections, or to make false inferences - in the case of some serious investigation. As time goes on, that discontinuity becomes more and more fragmented as each archive dollop is sliced away.

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

ensuring companies do not keep sensitive data that they no longer need

The big problem with data minimization is that this will burn your audit trail and, in doing so, encourage fraud and other misdemeanours.

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Microsoft took the step of notifying thousands of individual recipients

How did they do that? By sending out letters using the postal system?

It looks to me that MS are trying to market their Advanced Threat Protection products.

As the starting point for attack seems to be fake file-sharing notifications from OneDrive I feel that MS should instead be taking more responsibility for making such file-sharing notifications less problematic in the first place. It's the old old problem of hiding vital information from the user (hiding execute extensions in Windows Explorer, hiding sender email addresses in emails, and hiding the true browsed domain in a URL) in an updated guise.

Identity stolen because of the Marriott breach? Come and claim your new passport

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Come and claim your new passport

Just fill out the attached form and return it newpassport.pdf.exe

Amazon robot fingered for bear spray leak that hospitalised 24 staffers

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The White House...

...are going to have to wait an extra day or so for their order to be delivered.

Capita: We are seeking staff to join our board. Just two please

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I think this is a good idea.

Lewis is obviously up for a challenge and nobody should knock him for it.

Microsoft: New icons, new drivers, AI! Everything is awesome!

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Re: automatically email users @identified in a TODO with a link

As someone earlier (Fading) suggested: a sure way to cause security problems. (Acks to SVV too: I avoid link redirects like the plague).

I've not got the mind of a hacker, but one way that comes straight to mind to facilitate such mischief is to put lots of entries into a spell check dictionary, all of them replacing a valid word with TODO. If it is possible to change the trigger word to something else, then this is another.

Conversely those making a typo such as TOTO might end up holding the line for a long time for a response from a friend, but then It's not in the way you look or the things that you say that you do.... (I'll get my coat)

Tesla autopilot saves driver after he fell asleep at wheel on the freeway

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The question to ask is whether self-driving trucks will ever be a thing.

If so Spielberg's "Duel" will become a regular nightmare for many.

US Department of Defense to sling an estimated $3.17bn at Microsoft resellers

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So this is the reason Win 10 updates occur when you least expect them...

...'cos otherwise the enemy would attack when everyone at the DoD was busy with Patch Tuesday.

Millennials 'horrify' their neighbours with knob-shaped lights display

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To reduce controversy, next year the students are planning...

...to hang the lights over the rear entrance.

It's nearly 2019, and your network can get pwned through an oscilloscope

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Reading thse comments reminds me that the most modern 'scopes I came across had IEEE-488 interface connectors on them. Seemed pretty versatile at the time (well, bearing in mind the chunky cables and the maximum cable length). Whatever happened to that connectivity method?

AWS has a security hub, OpenSSL has a new license, London has a problem with cryptocoins, and more

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Re: the company caught wind of an attempted hack on its customer rewards program

Is there something we should know about the ingredients of this "rewards program"?

OneDrive Skype integration goes live aaand... OneDrive falls over in Europe

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Re: It remains sat in OneDrive

It remains sat in OneDrive, but is inaccessible on any other day of the week.

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Re: the Heath Service

Er... I've heard of cutting back, but I'd rather not have tree surgeons working in the NHS.

'Massage parlour' location looks like Amazon stealth-testing secret new wireless network

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The Man from U.N.C.L.E....

IIRC they used a tailor's changing room as the secret entrance to their HQ. Their enemy was THRUSH. Let's hope Amazon don't encounter a similar adversary.

Holy moley! The amp, kelvin and kilogram will never be the same again

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

The Daylight Saving Time controversy

To me the most rational solution is to not decide on either GMT or BST, but to compromise by changing the clocks by half an hour and then sticking to that new time zone, moving forward. The "elephant in the room" is the sub-optimal definition of GMT, which everyone historically wanted to use as a basis, rather than shifting to a more optimal base.

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Re: the search for a better reference (which started about 40 years ago)

Now that's what I call a long weight.

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Re: Let me introduce the kibblegram... to allow us to whinge

You can take that one stage further and call it the Quibblegram.

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Re: you'd be hard pressed to find those old Imperial units anywhere

Shop space is still measured in square feet (very topical at the moment).

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Re: "...using methods that can be replicated anywhere in this Universe."

The Kibble balancer wouldn't work in a weightless environment, for starters. The target kilogram, though anchored, would be floating around the lab.

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Re: The meter bars were slowly warping

I'd say your monitor needs degaussing.

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Re: "So what's going to happen to Le Grand K?"

There will be a slimmed-down version of it which they will call "Special K".

Office 365 Exchange enjoys a less than manic Monday. Users? Not so much

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Re: I have found Thunderbird to be a superior alternative to Outlook.

Customers of mine that use T'bird rarely have problems. Those using on-prem Outlook have all sorts of inexplicable woes which when identified, fall into these categories:-

(i) Microsoft Updates (ii) a functionality of Outlook has changed between versions (deleted as well as added) (iii) Anti-Malware program interference (iv) mailbox corruption or bloated mailbox size (v) emails going walkabout (vi) winmail.dat issues (vii) licencing issues whilst using the legitimately licenced application.

(iv) and (vi) have decreased substantially in recent years, but bloated mailbox sluggishness has not. Trying to drive Outlook from a third-party program (MAPI) has some bizarre "rules" defining behaviour, which can be painful to satisfy.

Sorry, that was intended to be a succinct list, but the more I thought about it, the more that needed to be added.

One of the big snags with Outlook is the dangers of reinstallation to troubleshoot dire problems, will there be hassle with licencing issues upon reinstallation?

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I thought this was supposed to be a NEWS site

I thought I was reading last week's article again, but wait... looking a bit more closely I see you've updated the date and changed a few of the words around.

Bedroom design outfit slapped with £160k fine for 1.6 million spam calls

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Re: Bigger question

I think Lee's post should be framed, tacked to the wall and recited to anyone cold-calling. It makes so much sense. But then again you need to address the brain inside the person making the call, and that isn't possible if they're on auto-pilot.

Lush scrubs its card-processing servers squeaky clean

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Maybe the IT team decided to do some refactoring

They successfully banished the smells in the code, but forgot that these were kinda fundamental to the Lush brand.

Microsoft dropkicks Cortana with Skype functionality on Alexa

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On the third day...

Aww, I was expecting you to go all the way up to seven, when things are supposed to take a rest.

TalkTalk's £1.5bn 3-million home fibre broadband hopes on ice for now

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Surely that's TalkTalk's implementation of FTP? File TransferTransfer Protocol. Just don't ask where the other transfer goes.

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Re: Surely a missed opportunity for a fibrenation/hibernation pun?

More like stagnation.

Well that's just spliffing: UK Amazon merchants peddling Mary Jane

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Re: they do say it's the most obvious things whihc pass us by....

The BBC seemed oblivious...


Britain may not be able to fend off a determined cyber-attack, MPs warn

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Re: Reality check

The 585 page Brexit agreement would be a good place to store top secret data.

Azure, Office 365 go super-secure: Multi-factor auth borked in Europe, Asia, USA

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Re: For those users in the infrastructure that has received the update...

Do they mean:-

For those users in the infrastructure that have received the update...

Or do they mean:-

For the user in the infrastructure that has received the update

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: What is this "MFA" of which you speak?

I think the "M" stands for "My"

The "A" stands for "Access".

Not sure about the "F", any ideas?

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Re: Haha, I cleaned the Kitchen Skylight

Simply seeing the Azure sky and the Clouds doesn't help with logging in to it though, unfortunately.

Compare this with Lee D's second comment above (the case for on-prem):-

"But when it does, your data is sitting RIGHT THERE. Available to you."

Microsoft menaced with GDPR mega-fines in Europe for 'large scale and covert' gathering of people's info via Office

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Re: Oddly enough that's not Microsoft Office's format

I, or rather, a client of mine had an odd experience with Excel some while ago. They maintain a daily Foreign Exchange spreadsheet which is emailed to all staff. Very simple structure - nothing odd about it at all. One day the calculations weren't working properly, I was called out, given a demonstration of the problem - in simplistic terms Excel was emphatic that 1+1=3. Scratching my head I tried a few things (e.g., the long forgotten Recalculate function, and taking into consideration the rows/columns recalculate order), but the problem persisted.

It was then that I noticed that the user had inadvertently saved the spreadsheet in one of the non-proprietary formats on the Save As.. list, rather than XLS* format. Going back to Excel format solved the problem, but this experience made me think that Microsoft are not participating in a level playing field here.

My thought is that they are concentrating on their own formats for testing and paying mere lip service to so-called Open Document formats. It calls into question the methodology MS use to develop applications with: it's almost as if they have an IF file_format='xls' then do_this ELSE do_that in their programs, which for me is a Big Red Flag.

Has anyone else encountered similar anomalies with MS applications?

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It seems that this covert data gathering may be more reliable...

...than the arguably more important facility for users to be able to connect to resources on their LAN.


And I quote: Microsoft says it'll sort out the issues "in the 2019 timeframe."

Want to hack a hole-in-the-wall cash machine for free dosh? It's as easy as Windows XP

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Secure boxes

I got involved in the building and commissioning of a jewellery store some years ago. I happened to be on site when the display cases arrived. The builders were saying "FFS be careful, don't want any dents in these!" The member of staff showing me around smiled and said he thought there wasn't much chance of that happening as they were designed to withstand an armed robbery.

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: insurance

I used to use the automatic deposit machines in bank branches to deposit cheques.


I got a letter from the bank asking me to check whether deposits I had made on a specific date had appeared as such in my account. They hadn't, so I rang the bank to ask why not. Turns out that the bank had been robbed that day after my visit.

I was told to contact the payees and get them to send me the cheques again. "Are you kidding? It took a lot of effort to get one or two of those customers to write those cheques out the first time, let alone again."

"Surely you are insured against this kind of thing, in any case?"

Apparently not, or that was what I was told.

In the end they compromised by agreeing to write to my customers on my behalf.

After that experience: no more using the automated deposit machines.

(I did succumb once, since then, queuing up one day I was persuaded to use one of their super-duper new machines which printed images of the payments onto the receipt slip which proves the deposit has been made. How could they possibly get that wrong?

Would you believe it but the slip I received showed the deposit had been made at a different branch to the one I was in?! There was a day's delay before that credit appeared on my account - which I complained about).

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: the picture was taken at Wellington tram stop.

That machine is notorious for taking a long time to boot up.

Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location

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Re: So will these be built to a universal standard

Like National Insurance numbers? (Where there are many quirks).

Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

Re: when kitty has to stay in (e.g. trip to the vet) there is a physical latch

So that's two things for the vet to look at (1) the neutering (2) the bump on its bonce as it tries to get through the flap.

The Quantum of car lists: Storage firm drives into autonomous vehicle data logging

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So thinking ahead to what is happening in the printer market...

If one of the tyres wears faster than the others then the whole lot including spare will need to be replaced. If your tyres aren't genuine then you won't be able to start the vehicle and you will invalidate the manufacturer's guarantee.


Insurance companies will have a field day. Log submission will be part of the process for making a claim, and woe-betide you if you exceeded a monitored parameter by even a smidgeon.

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